Let the Vitamin D Shine In
Are you feeling sad and sluggish? Many of us can get the blues and not be sure why we are feeling down in the dumps. What could appear to be unexplained sadness could possibly be a lack of vitamin D. This may sound funny, but just going outside and staring in the direction of the sun could be the boost that your body and mind are looking for. Forget that second cup of coffee and trade it in for the opportunity to give yourself a ten-minute break outside and take in some much-needed vitamin D! Besides, that coffee will only make you feel worse once the caffeine has run its course.
Drinking milk and eating cheese are a few ways to take in vitamin D. This vitamin can also be found in fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, catfish and eel. Eggs and mushrooms also contain vitamin D. I'm starting to get a unique recipe idea for a vitamin-D-dinner! Folks who aren't interested in most of these foods should strongly consider spending a little extra time outdoors and possibly taking a supplement.
We have an idea of how to consume vitamin D, but how do our bodies produce it naturally when we are in the sun? The ultraviolet light in your everyday sunshine changes a molecule that is found naturally in your skin and turns it into an inactive form of vitamin D. The liver and kidney make it active and it is then stored in the blood.
Everyone knows that vitamin D is essential to our bodies and that it's good for our teeth, bones and muscles but it's even better for you than you think. It protects against breast, prostate and colon cancer and boosts your immune system. Vitamin D helps to regulate blood pressure, aids in insulin secretion and helps prevent against diabetes mellitus. It helps to regulate blood pressure, helps prevent rheumatoid arthritis and fights multiple sclerosis. It has been said that the many cases of the flu over the winter season could be partially attributed to the lack of sunlight and less natural production of vitamin D in our bodies. Perhaps we should stock up in the winter on foods high in this essential vitamin and catch 10 minutes in the sun each day over the summer to maintain our vitamin D!
You know what they say, "Everything in moderation", but the good news is that it's very difficult to reach toxic levels of vitamin D. Underlying health conditions such as lymphoma could increase the risk of calcium build-up that could lead to other problems down the road. An average, or even above average, consumption of foods and drinks high in vitamin D is safe for healthy people.
We know the benefits that vitamin D has in store for our bodies, but what about our brains? Vitamin D helps the brain produce the neurotransmitters seratonin and dopamine. These two chemicals aid in our sleep-wake cycle. Your ability to concentrate improves with higher levels of seratonin as do your reflexes. Seratonin also helps curb hunger and reduces your cravings for carbohydrates. Dopamine plays a significant role in our mood, behavior and learning.
What happens if we become deficient in vitamin D? First, you will not receive all of the wonderful benefits that I have listed in this article. There would also be a higher risk of depression, Crohn's disease, osteoperosis, IBS, lower bone density, heart disease, fibromyalgia and birth defects. Stop vitamin D deficiency before it stops you from living a productive and healthy life.
The best way to get the most out of your milk is to drink raw, organic milk. Milk that has been pasteurized and homogenized has been stripped of almost all its essential nutrients and vitamins. Raw organic milk contains the live enzymes needed for your body to digest lactose and is pure and abundant with everything good that milk has to offer. Raw milk will make you look and feel great.
These great products rich in vitamin D can be found in your local grocery store:
Raw, organic sharp and mild cheddar cheeses
Organic Yogurt (variety of flavors)
Here are a few fun and healthy recipes that include vitamin D:
By Sally Fallon: Coconut Milk Soup
Yield: 6-8 servings
1 1⁄2 quarts homemade fish or chicken stock
1 1⁄2 cups coconut milk and cream
1 pound chicken or fish, cut into small cubes
3 jalapeno chilies, diced, or 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, dried
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons fish sauce (optional)
2-4 tablespoons lime juice
chopped cilantro for garnish
Simmer all ingredients until meat is cooked through. Garnish with cilantro.
By Nicki Rubin: EZ Pizza
Yield: 1 serving
2 pieces sprouted grain bread or 1 sprouted grain English muffin
Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
green onions, thinly sliced (optional)
Toast bread or English muffins. Place bread on baking sheet. Spoon pasta sauce over bread. Place onions over pasta sauce. Cut slices of cheese and place over onions. Sprinkle with Herbamare and cook in oven for 5 minutes or until cheese melts.